CA Ammo Regulations


Gotta love Stupidfornia!


@Robocop1051 and @Mosinvirus , you’re an FFL, right? What hoops do you need to go through to get one of those?


@EQuinn, I have a C&R (FFL03) license and a CA COE. Getting a C&R is not all that difficult - fill out a form, print 2 copies, send one copy and payment ($30) to address shown in the instructions, send the other with a simple letter to your CLEO office. The letter basically says " From/To/Date/…and… I have to notify you that I am applying for this license, and I am including a copy of my application for your records"

Then the CA COE… for that you have to go get your fingerprints livescanned (I got my Live Scan at FEDEX live scan location). That was around $70. You then have to go through the COE application on this website I believe that is $22.

C&R license is renewed every 3 years at $30.
COE is renewed every year at $22.

Your C&R license will also allow you to get discounts at Brownells, Numrich (I believe) and many other firearm related retailers. You will be able to Cash and Carry C&R guns without having to wait 10 days, you will be exempt from 1 in 30 rule for handguns, etc.

Good to have…


Do you need to have a business? Or anyone can do it?


No, you become a collector (that is your title on the form or something like that) as an individual. A lot of those fields on the form should be left blank or N/A (I can’t remember how I filled mine out… Anyone engaged in business of selling firearms has to get 01, 07, etc.

When you get the license you will have to record all C&R purchases or sales you make in a record book (Federal Regulations). In CA you will also have to record your out of state purchases (I think in state as well) via that CFARS website. $19. Multiple guns can be listed under one transaction, so it is not $19 per gun, but per submission of records.


Sorry I have a bad habit of editing my posts so please take a look above in case you only saw my original reply.

By the way, for COE, the live scan is done only 1 time for the initial application. You will not have to redo it again when renewing your COE.

You will have to have both the C&R license and the COE to have ammo shipped to your door.

Not all companies will ship directly to you. Here is a list of the ones that will.


Thanks, this is good info. Any approval process? Or is it just the background check? For the CCW, you have to have an interview with the Sheriff’s Officers. I suppose since I have the CCW, this should be easy?


I’m an 07-FFL. It’s a bit more involved than the others. It allows you to transfer, buy, sell AND manufacture.

There’s a lot of ATF and DOJ visits involved. If you’re a private person, working from home, this won’t bode well for you.

My company started in R&D and “one off” custom projects. Now I’m in full production. Most of the questions they ask are basically what are you trying to do and how do you expect to do it. If you have a well thought out and detailed business plan, they are willing to work with you. If you are just an eccentric hobbyist, you might hit snags.


No interviews. Just send in the forms and wait for licenses/certifications. 03 license will arrive by mail. COE you will have to print out yourself. Make a reminder about 1 month before expiration to go to CFARS to renew. They (CA Doj) stopped mailing reminders.


I bet 07 is a lot more involved. In the future I will be going for 01. I believe gunsmithing is covered by 01 and that is what I will be getting a license for primarily.


Thanks guys, this is encouraging. I think I might just get collectors version. Lord knows I collect a lot of guns. Okay, well, I have a few. But I’m just getting started :wink:


Only certain firearms count as C&R guns. If you’re looking for modern guns at dealer prices, you’re gonna have a bad time with a C&R. A standard FFL will allow you to buy guns from distrubutors. The catch is, it can’t be for expanding your own collection. It’s fairly easy to get, albeit draw out. Some paperwork, an ATF interview, and $300 bucks for 3 years, i think. My suggestion, do the standard, non-manufacture FFL (which is what I operate with) and do a few transfers from your home every year. Then, it’s a business. Getting distributors as a home-based FFL is tough, but not impossible. I’ve done it. Plus, at least in my area, a lot of retail shops will order and transfer things to you at cost (if you aren’t abusing the courtesy) which helps a lot with the distributor problem.


I got my FFL for gunsmithing, initially. you have to have it if you’re taking possession of other peoples firearms for any period of time. The only catch I’ve experienced is building an AR from a stripped lower is considered “manufacturing.” You’re only allowed X number of builds before you’re committing a felony. I’m not allowed to transfer a stripped lower AND assemble it into a firearm. I can do one or the other. Usually, I’ll have them obtain the lower someplace else, then make the money on building it as the profit margins are way higher for labor than selling the stripped lower. The FFL process, at least for me in SC with the two ATF agents I dealt with, was way less painless than I imagined it was going to be.


You mean builds that are for transferring, right? Or is that for personal collections, too?


That’s another thing, you still have to transfer to yourself. There’s a book called an acquisition and disposition book that you have to keep track of everything in. If you get a lower, it goes in the book. Then, you transfer it to yourself (with a NICS form and all, just like in a store). At that point, you could build the gun. HOWEVER anything transferred to yourself must be in your collection for, at least, one year before you can do anything with it. If you’re in a state that allows private sales (as my state does) you still can not sell it. So, it doesn’t prevent you from building your own guns. But, if your intent is to “gunsmith” by building AR’s… that’s a felony without a manufacturer’s FFL.


Should probably point out that 03 doesnt have anything to do with builds.

The benefits of having it in CA in addition to collecting old (eligible for Curio & Relic) firearms include being able to purchase ammo online and have it shipped to your door (huge savings over time) and discounts at various parts businesses (which helps with buying parts for all firearms, not just C&R ones)


Yeah, I’m not going to be transferring guns or selling anything. I really just want a way around this ammo BS. So the C&R sounds like the right thing. What are the record keeping requirements for buying ammo? How is that tracked by the DOJ or CADOJ?

I’m guessing that if I want to buy a gun, I’d do it the same way I do now, through an 07 FFL. And if I want to build one, same thing.


There is no tracking of ammo if you get it shipped to your door, thank God!


Can you imagine how each of us would appear to a anti-gun person if ammo purchases are tracked (and because they are now in CA)…

“This individual has purchased 50,000 rounds of ammunition according to our records (no timeline mentioned)… but we only found 5,000 rounds in his possession during the search… he must have been supplying a terrorist cell (alt-right white supremacy), because no one would need so much ammo for hunting, and surely not for home defense… so where did all those bullets go?”

So that was only the first step, before rationing will start.


That’s what I’m afraid of. It’s like when you hear about some on the news that had an “arsenal” in their home. “Some 30 weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition were found in the suspect’s home. No word yet on what his plans were for all those guns”. How many times have you heard that?